A short-notice fight between Jim Miller and Yancy Medeiros went pretty much exactly as expected Saturday night in Baltimore.
Miller has been alternating wins and losses since getting roughed up by Benson Henderson, but he has remained a steady presence near the top of the lightweight division. Medeiros has shown flashes of being a good fighter, but he was overmatched badly on paper.
What went down in the cage proved that to be the case, as Miller landed strikes with little difficulty before locking up a lightning-quick guillotine that left Medeiros unconscious. So what did we learn?
Jim Miller Still Has Skillz, Capable of Paying Bills
If Miller had lost this fight, it could have very well been his last in the Octagon. I mean, the UFC cut Jake Shields for owning wins over its title contender of choice...nobody with legitimate go-to grappling skills is safe.
But man, he didn't even have a hint of trouble here. That was the kind of performance he needed, and the fact that he ended it with a sexy guillotine choke was the cherry on the big win sundae.
He might not win a post-fight bonus, but his job is safe for now. That is a big deal, no matter how you slice it.
Jim Miller Is Still Probably a Gatekeeper
Best submission so far?
So yeah, it's a big win, but the fact it was between a top-10 lightweight and a top-50-ish loomed large. Yes, I know that it was on short notice (he was originally supposed to face off with Bobby Green) and it was the best the UFC could put together on short notice, but there's no ignoring it.
Still, Miller has a long history of looking fearsome against people you haven't heard of and floundering against people you have. Just like Mike Pyle or Gabriel Gonzaga or Takeya Mizugaki.
He called for a fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov, Donald Cerrone or anybody ranked above him. Unless he gets a fight against one of them and can win it, though, it's hard to really feel like he's making another title run.
Yancy Medeiros Isn't There Yet
Pretty obvious, but worth reiterating.
Medeiros has some weapons in his arsenal, and it showed when he demolished Yves Edwards. That said, this was just his third UFC fight, and he owned an official 0-1 (1) record...before fighting a top-10 guy in one of the UFC's deepest divisions.
He's 26, so there's still plenty of time for him to get sharper. Now isn't his time, though.
It's a Night of Great Finishes!
Seriously! So many awesome finishes Saturday night.
Chris Beal's flying knee. Max Holloway's awesome choke. Danny Castillo's massive knockout. Joseph Benavidez's "joa constrictor."
Awesome finishes everywhere!